Dr. Deborah Pan Q&A


What’s the Next Big Thing in aesthetic treatments?

Every 7 to 10 years there’s a game changing technology and the latest is EMSCULPT, which uses electro magnetic waves to create a muscle contraction at a strength beyond anything you could achieve. It’s the equivalent of doing 20,000 setups in a half an hour. This treatment works best for patients who are a healthy weight but have battled with abdominal or buttock definition. The treatment is typically four 1/2 hour sessions over a two week period.

How is this different from Cool Sculpting?

Cool sculpting doesn’t do anything to the muscle, but rids the treated area of fat. The reduction is permanent as long as you keep your weight stable. It’s important to note that not everyone is a candidate and the therapy is dependent on a consult with the doctor.

What’s the least invasive treatment that has the most impact for scaredy cats?

Facial injectables are the mainstay of maintenance. Dr. Pan advises that doing little bits at a time can remarkably slow the aging process. The myth about them is that the ones that are noticeably overdone give injectables a bad name, but if you look at some older celebrities like Charlize Theron and Jennifer Aniston, you can see how effective they are when done subtly. Dr. Pan also suggests the earlier in this case is better…mild prevention of wrinkles begins with tiny doses of botox in one’s 30s.

What treatment provides the most dramatic results?

For non-invasive treatments, Dr. Pan says that Ultherapy (I had it! Read more about it here), or Coolsculpting. For more invasive, we talked about tummy tucks and Mommy Makeovers. This two-for-one addresses the natural changes that occur to your waist and breasts after childbirth and breastfeeding. Downtime is three to four weeks, with a return to full-on exercise within 10 to 12 weeks. You also save a fair amount by having both surgeries at once.

Let’s say I’m 50 and show up for a consult having never had an aesthetic treatment. What would you do?

The first thing Dr. Pan advises is a good home skin care regimen. A healthy diet is equally as important.  Dr. Pan stressed to me how important a consultation is, what the patients concerns, desires and goals are, and whether they can reasonably be met. Education is a big part of the process in terms of the various treatments available and understanding the science behind them. And she’s sensitive to budget. She works with the patient to determine the scope and plan of treatment.

What are the most popular treatments?

Botox and fillers

Ultherapy: average 12 to 18 months,

Fractura (radio frequency micro needling, physically perforating the skin to stimulate the skin) (look this up)

Can you get rid of cellulite (or is it a myth)?

It’s a myth. It’s a matter of how the skin is connected to the muscle and is estrogen related (which is why you see it much more often in women). The vertical structure of connection causes that annoying dimple.

What’s the easiest way to get rid of a pot belly?

That depends on if the fat is visceral or not. Coolsculpting may be an option, but a more invasive surgery (like bariatric) or diet could be the answer. The decision would take evaluation by the doctor.

What are women’s biggest fears when it comes to treatments and how to allay them?

Everyone wants to make sure it will work and worries that it will be painful.

Is it ever too late to get rid of wrinkles?

There are options for almost everyone, including deep chemical peels. And yes, while we don’t hear about them often, they still do facelifts for the appropriate candidates.

What is the best anti-aging advice you give to your patients?

Wear sunscreen every day. Use a good skin care regimen and maintain a steady weight with a healthy diet. Perhaps start preventive (tiny) things at a dermatologist or plastic surgeon in your thirties.

Anything else that you think E-list readers should know?  Esana tries to set themselves apart by having two board-certified plastic surgeons on staff. They highly value educating their patients and feel that it’s important to partner in their journey. And they get a thrill out of making everyone feel and look better.

Here’s an exclusive offer for e-list subscribers only: $75 off Botox. Expires October 30, 2018.


Our team-member Sarah gave the abdominoplasty (aka tummy tuck) a try and here’s what she had to say (results pictured above):

“I’ve been dreaming of having a tummy tuck since April 14, 2005. That was the day I delivered twin boys, weighing about 13 pounds, collectively. The folds of extra skin across my abdomen were accented by hundreds of white worm-like indentations scattered throughout, that I knew were now permanent fixtures on my 31-year-old, 5’2” body. Matters were only made worse when, at 39, I had another 10-pound baby. No amount of exercise or dieting could improve the damage that had been done (and believe me, I tried).
Fast forward to February 2018. I had decided over the past long, cold winter months that this was the year I was going to take a drastic measure. This was the year I was going to invest in myself and change the way I feel about my body for the rest of my life. I scheduled an appointment with Dr. Deborah Pan at Esana Med Spa, who came highly recommended. She quickly determined that I was a prime candidate and, without pause, I booked a date for the surgery on May 2nd. (I would have booked it for earlier, but I had the Boston Marathon coming up on April 16th. I wanted this surgery so badly that I actually thought about bailing on the marathon).
I’m now almost 4 months out and I can tell you, without reservation, that it is a no-brainer. I’m thrilled with the results and I”m happy that, despite the steep out-of-pocket expense, I had the courage to take the leap. That’s not to say there aren’t any drawbacks. While the incision healed quickly and without complication, I found the sedentary recovery and need for 24/7 abdominal binder to be depressing. I couldn’t exercise for three months…I mean, come on! That aside, it was well worth it. The results continue to improve. The edema posterior to the incision line remained for several months, leaving a little pouch-effect (that only I seem to notice, but it’s there). Over time, that resolves and the results are…pretty amazing.”